Kathy Rulon Named Acting Chief of Staff at Peace Corps

January 21, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 21, 2009 - Acting Director Dr. Jody K. Olsen is pleased to announce the appointment of Kathy Rulon as acting chief of staff of the Peace Corps, effective immediately. Since 2007, Rulon has served as chief of operations for the Inter-America and the Pacific (IAP) region of the Peace Corps, managing a staff that supervises overseas operations for 27 countries. Rulon will serve in her new role until President Obama's administration appoints an individual to assume the role permanently.

Acting Director Jody Olsen stated, "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Kathy Rulon as the Peace Corps' acting chief of staff. Kathy has had a long history with the Peace Corps, starting with her days as a Volunteer in Morocco, and continuing through her experience in key leadership positions both within and outside the agency. We are fortunate to have a seasoned professional in this vital position to carry us through during this transitional time for the agency."

Rulon has extensive experience in international development, beginning her career as a Volunteer in Morocco in the mid-1970s. She returned to the agency as a staff member in January 1990 and developed the first education program in Hungary. In Washington, she served as Peace Corps' chief of operations for the Europe, Mediterranean, and Asia region, and as the program and training officer for international operations and the deputy chief of staff. Prior to her current appointment, she has been serving as chief of operations for IAP.

Rulon has also worked for UNICEF and the World Food Programme, where she established a school feeding program in Afghanistan, documented post-war education programs in Angola, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and post-natural disaster programs in India. Prior to her work with the United Nations, Kathy served as vice president of CEDPA, an international nongovernmental organization dedicated to the empowerment of women in development. She also founded a computer-assisted learning center for Southeast Asian immigrants and refugees in Hawaii. Rulon has a bachelor's degree in social sciences from Colorado State University and a master's degree in applied linguistics from the University of Hawaii.

As the Peace Corps approaches its 50th anniversary, its service legacy continues to promote peace and friendship around the world. Historically, over 195,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries in which they have served. Applications to serve in the Peace Corps have increased 16 percent this past year, accounting for the largest boost in the last five years. Currently, 7,876 Peace Corps Volunteers are serving in 76 countries. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a 27-month commitment.

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